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Thread: The Super Deluxe X-treem Thread, or the death of superlatives

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    The Super Deluxe X-treem Thread, or the death of superlatives

    The idea for this thread came up when I was at a Giant Eagle supermarket in suburban Cleveland a few weeks ago, and saw this sign.



    Just what is it about those cheap umbrellas that makes them "deluxe super?" Probably nothing; the words are just adjectives tacked onto the sign in a pathetic attempt to impress shopppers. Go into any store, and you'll see superlatives tacked onto many items: "super", "deluxe", and in more recent years, "x-treme".



    The overuse of superlatives in marketing has caused them to lose their meaning, but in the past, those words meant something. For example, there would be the 1952 Buick Bloatliner, but also the Bloatliner Deluxe, with cloth upholstery, an AM radio, and six quart-sized chrome ashtrays instead of four. Through the 1950s and into the 1960s, more products and services were given the "deluxe" label, and the word gradually lost its meaning. When everything is deluxe, nothing is.



    In the distant past, it seemed like superlatives weren't a common part of advertising. The testimonials that accompanied plans for kit-built houses, for example, were often underwhelming, at least by today's standards.



    "Very satisfactory". Glowing praise in 1925, but an expression of mediocrity in 2010.

    What superlatives have lost their meaning? What superlatives will become meaningless thanks to overuse in the coming decades?
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    "Unique". As soon as somebody calls something unique, you know it is in fact not. Usually, it is also incorrectly labeled "Very Unique" or "Extremely Unique". I have come to dislike the word. Great thread, Dan.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  3. #3
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Along with the "unique" lines ursus mentioned, I'll add "diverse" or "diversity". Everything is "diverse", even if it isn't. This is especially true in promotional catalogs for graduate programs, I've found.

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    It's hard to beat Marty Stuart's band, The Fabulous Superlatives, for shameless yet tongue-in-cheek self-promotion.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    I don't know, people used to take note if an advertiser back in the 1950's claimed buying some product or service would provide a 'gay time'. If anything I'll bet folks would take even more note were that same claim made today

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    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Oh Dan you have always had issues with X-treme things!

    I think you have to add Deluxe and Super to off set mini.

    Just like in house sales tiny = cozy.

    I was watching on of those "I am looking for a house" shows and the realtor just kept saying as she shows the house. And here is your tiny little kitchen, and you tiny deck off the front. Look at this cute tiny bedroom. I just wanted to scream at her "NEVER SAY TINY, YOU IDIOT"
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Supersized.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Awesome.

    "If you could fill out this form, that would be awesome."

    "Happy hour is awesome."

    "The world's biggest waterslide, for which there's a four-hour wait, is awesome."

    Nope, don't think so.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    The idea for this thread came up when I was at a Giant Eagle supermarket in suburban Cleveland a few weeks ago, and saw this sign.
    (Pssst.... Don't tell anybody, but their eagle is just regular sized too...)
    Proudly spending today building the dilapidated housing stock of the 22nd century.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    This thread is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  11. #11
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Here's another one I hear from time to time: "fancy". Whenever I hear the word, I can't help but think of older Buffalonians complementing a living room like this as "fee-YAN-see".



    I don't think of "fancy" as the dictionary definition (made, designed, grown, adapted, etc., to please the taste or fancy; of superfine quality or exceptional appeal), but rather as cheesy opulence.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    World Famous?

    What I get a kick out of are local TV advertisements that sing the praises of their particular product.....

    "And, our world-famous coney sauce."
    "Ask for the Jumbo Burger, topped with our world-famous special sauce."

    If they are really "world famous" how come there is only one location?
    _____

    My distribution center has a line of urinal screens that are labeled Super Deluxe.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Here's another one I hear from time to time: "fancy". Whenever I hear the word, I can't help but think of older Buffalonians complementing a living room like this as "fee-YAN-see".


    Off-topic:
    Ha! Look at the plastic cover still on the lampshade! It's my grandmother's house! (Or it would be if the couch and chairs were also covered in plastic...)


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